The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 3/5

January 2, 2012

WATER — From National Geographic we have Mumbai’s Shadow City by Mark Jacobson—a slum holding 12 million people, who live in the middle of India’s financial capital.

Then there is Delhi with 17.3 million residents. One third of the city’s residents have little access to clean water. See Life in the Slums of Delhi, India

Foreign Policy magazine says, “In India, service delivery [of fresh water] will fall woefully short of demand in coming years across most urban infrastructure sectors.”

China, on the other hand, has long-term infrastructure projects and is drilling the world’s longest tunnel to carry water from the Yangtze River under hundreds of miles of mountains to reach Manchuria in the northeast.

Then in Tibet, China is building reservoirs to catch water from glaciers that are melting due to global warming while building villages to relocate Tibetan nomads who discover that the high altitude grasslands they once depended on to feed their herds has dried up and turned to desert due to lack of rainfall.

LITERACY — For a republic or democracy to thrive and survive the population must be literate to understand the issues and support a complex modern society.

However, according to India’s 2011 census, only 74% of India’s 1.2 billion people are considered literate in India —that means three hundred and twelve million people cannot read.

In China, literacy is more than 94% up from 20% in 1978.

What is taking India so long? It has had since 1947 to resolve this problem. What China accomplished in about 30 years, India has had sixty-four years to achieve as the world’s largest democracy.

“Adult literacy [in China]was given first priority in literacy campaigns [after 1976] designed to ‘sweep away illiteracy’ [saochu wenmang]. Because 80% of adults were illiterate, they were targeted as crucial for securing new China’s economic security.”

It may sound like a cliché, but being able to read is a form of power, and leaders know that literate and educated people have considerable influence. Source: China Philanthropy

The World Illiteracy Map says, “Illiteracy is one of the major hindrances that come in the way of economic growth. Literate manpower helps a country in developing.”

Continued on January 3, 2012 in The China-India Comparison with Lots of Facts – Part 4 or return to Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This revised and edited post first appeared on October 22, 2010 as India Falling Short